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Dogs need restrained at Salem concerts

SALEM — The parks commission wants people to attend concerts at Waterworth Memorial Park, however, they request that attendees leave their dogs at home if able, and if they can’t, or are unwilling to, that they please stay within a designated area.

Due to an incident where a dog got loose and attacked Salem Police K-9 Argo, the parks commission discussed potentially banning dogs from concerts in the park, a decision Chairman John Panezott said the city attorney confirmed was within the commission’s authority. However, discussion was heated with Vice Chairman Lucille Karnofel arguing it was unfair to penalize all dog owners for the irresponsibility of one, and that the true problem was “irresponsible people bringing dangerous dogs to an event with large crowds.”

“I don’t see why people need to bring their dogs to the concerts, there is a dog park across the street,” Parks Director Shane Franks said. Commission Member Lori Colian pointed out that “for many people their dogs are part of their family, they’re like children to them.” Colian also noted that if such a mandate were to be enacted they would have to have the consequences outlined and prepared for enforcement, saying “We have to have the answer for ‘or what’ ready if we’re going to do this.”

Panezott agreed with Colian and Karnofel, stating he didn’t have the perfect answer and that ” it’s probably already too late to institute a mandate this year.” He proposed that instead the commission make the above request, noting that if issues continued to rise they’d be forced to move to a full ban. Parks Foreman Jim Grimm confirmed that an area for dogs could be outlined before the next concert Friday, and that it would be marked with a white line.

The commission is still searching for sponsors for the July 3rd fireworks show from 5 to 9 p.m. Franks said they were looking “for any business, church group, club or organization” to sponsor the event, noting it would be “a great opportunity to get your name in front of the 1,000 or so people” that would be in attendance. The commission is particularly looking for sponsors to run activities, noting that “if you don’t have any ideas for an activity, we have some great ones we could give you.” For any questions or further information contact the parks office at 330-271-8913.

The ongoing construction of the Rotary Recreation Area in Waterworth Memorial Park was also briefly discussed, of which Franks noted due to inflation and the implementation of ambitious plans the price had increased from $50,000 to $200,000, and that while the construction would be a longer process, it was being worked on and would be completed.

Also discussed was a temporary increase of garbage pickup by Kimble Recycling and Waste Disposal from once to twice a week in response to overwhelming trash buildup, the beginning of construction of the disc golf course, the successful opening of the pool on June 4th, and the success of the previous movie nights.

Upcoming events include Teen Night at the Centennial Park pool from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday for ages 12-16, admission is $5.

The next meeting will be held at 5 p.m. July 27 at in the parks office.

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